Bookshelf of the Month: Being Nikki

Can you imagine living in someone else's body but still having your conscience? 

Meg Cabot takes us to immerse on a journey in her book Being Nikki, published in 2009, the second publication of her Airhead novel series. Cabot, once more, did not fail to make us use our imagination to visualize a potential situation that may be possible in the future. 

Even though Being Nikki is the second book of the Airhead novel, personally, this one is my favorite as it has the significant events and situations of the plot. You can start off reading this second book and still understand the story in its completeness, as Cabot does not leave room for misunderstandings in the sequence. 

The story explores two different worlds, from Emerson Watts to Nikki Howard. Em suffers an accident, and her family decides to revive Em's conscience, hoping she could still be alive among them somehow. Em is a pretty normal girl who lives in New York and is just trying to survive high school. Being a traditional teenager, Em has a trusted best friend who she's also in love with, a little sister to take care of, great present parents, and an aversion to the popular side of New York, based from models to superstars of Hollywood. 

Nikki Howard is the complete opposite of Em Watts. Starting that, Nikki is only seventeen years old and is a fully independent woman who has her apartment with her best friend Lulu in the most fabulous neighborhood of New York City. Thankfully for her long-term contract with Stark Enterprises, Nikki can live a life of a teenager and still enjoy the not so humble life of a model. Nikki's life is based on traveling for work, having love affairs with influential people, going to the most amazing parties in the city, meeting with celebrities from all over the world, and being the face of the Stark company. Nikki doesn't have much contact with her family at all as she is independent, and throughout the book, we can understand even further her relationship with her brother and mom. They seem to support her enough to know she instead lives by her own rules. 

people walking on crosswalk in NYC at nighttime Photo by Andreas Kruck from Unsplash Suddenly, Nikki suffers a significant brain injury and needs to recover from the press and media cameras and reports. 

Throughout the book, a mysterious plot leaves room for imagination as to what happened to Nikki Howard's consciousness and why the perfect teenage independent model who seemed to be the core strength of the company just vanished overnight. Stark Enterprises is not that transparent and honest company. From the owner and his son's multiple behaviors, it's clear that something in that environment doesn't smell fairness, justice, or integrity. Where did Nikki Howard go? 

What is seems to happen is that Stark Enterprises unify Em's accident to the need to get rid of Nikki. Em's family desperately sought a solution to bring their daughter back to life, and Stark was looking to disappear once and for all with Nikki Howard, but without leaving a trace behind its shady business. Em's parents sign a contract allowing Stark Enterprises to transfer her conscience into a super model's body, without full knowledge it was, in fact, Nikki Howard and that she didn't suffer a brain injury as they reported to the Watts' family. 

Soon after the process, Em becomes Nikki, still being herself with her personality, but in Nikki Howard's body. Of course, she needs to live Howard's life and be part of New York City's glamorous world that she once was so hesitant about. Em cannot talk to her family as often they were expecting to, as no one in the press and media industry knows that Nikki is not Nikki anymore. She lives a life being twenty-four-seven watched and recorded, with Stark Enterprises knowing every single step of the young model. Throughout the book, Meg Cabot guides us to understand the struggles and the happiness Em can find living a life that belongs to someone else. 

How hard can it be to fake someone else's behaviors? Many times throughout the book Nikki acts weird by the eyes of those who were familiar with her. Where did all her judgmental attitude and mean comments go? Until when is Em able to fake being a person she is not?

But most of all, where did Nikki's conscience go after the brain transplant? 

I guess you're going to have to read the book to know all about it because Nikki's and Em's secret is safe with me.